OH, SUGAR!

May 09

SugarBowlDid you hear the one about the woman and the 12 double-yolk eggs?

That was me! On my last post, 
It’s No Yoke!

This blog is not turning into a health & nutrition site (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is SO taken), but I see by your comments (and mine) that we’re all a bit freaked about food.

John Sposato wants to know if the eggs — and I —glow in the dark. He also suggests that I stop shopping at The Chernobyl Poultry Market. Point taken.

Gary Poole comments that everything that was bad for you is now good for you, and vice versa. Yep. I’ve noticed that.

So, what’s a body to do?

I have no idea. But I was told by a doctor of the medical persuasion to cut back on sugar, and this has totally bummed me out. I have a sweet tooth, and while I hate to call it an addiction (it is), I have given serious thought to joining Snickers Anonymous. What? There is no such thing? Are you sure? I thought I saw it on Facebook.

Anyway, I decided to give up chocolate, or at least limit its usage in my life, and I also started looking at labels for the sugar content of  other less interesting foods. 
WARNING: Do not read labels unless you want to become severely depressed.

Everything has sugar in it!

I exaggerate. A little. Water doesn’t, and neither does watercress. But almost everything else does. Have sugar in it.

I really freaked out when I found out that . . . .

Oatmeal_PackageThe oatmeal I eat every day for breakfast has twelve grams of sugar. Twelve! Do you know how much that is in relation to my life — or yours?

Of course not. You were too busy eating cupcakes (let’s not even go there) to check. Well, a female person should have no more than 22-25 grams of “added sugar” a day; a male about 33-37 grams The exact number depends on who you ask. I’m sorry I asked at all. Because if these numbers are even close, then eating the stupid oatmeal alone means I have been blowing half my daily sugar allotment. That sounds vaguely pornographic. And it is! Oatmeal is supposed to be good for you. (Yes, I know that plain oatmeal has no sugar. I hate plain oatmeal. Case closed.)

Foods that you don’t even think of as sweet have sugar, too. One Pepperidge Farm bagel has 10 grams. A serving of Spaghetti sauce, 11 grams. A baked white potato, about 18 grams.

OMG! If those things have sugar . . .

SnickersBarWhat About (Gasp!) A Snickers Bar?

It has 23-30 grams. Honestly, after the oatmeal revelation I thought it would be even worse.

On the bright side, two Mallomars (the minimum daily requirement) has “only” 12 grams. Compared to the oatmeal, it’s a sweet deal.

•Cola is deadly on this score: 39 grams in a 12-ounce can. Gulp.
•A vanilla shake has about 30 grams, and smoothies can be worse: up to 60 grams!
•A serving of chocolate mint chip ice cream, my personal favorite, can have as much as 58 grams of sugar, my quota for nearly three days. I’m going into sugar shock.
•One Hostess Cup Cake: 17 grams.
•Instant cocoa: 19 grams.
•A four-ounce muffin: 32 grams!
•Dark chocolate, which they now say has some health benefits, has less than milk chocolate but still has plenty: 15 grams in a Dove Bar.
•Jello Pudding (which sounds like an oxymoron to me): 17 grams.

Something sweet I think of as good for me turns out to be not that good: Mott’s Apple Sauce has 22 grams. Apple sauce? I can’t have apple sauce? This is so unfair.

Fat Free Does Not Mean Sugar Free!

The Greek yogurt I like has 0% fat, but the blueberry variety has about 12 grams of sugar. Better than Yoplait, with 27 grams, but  not nothing. And other brands I hear tell, can have as many as 35 grams! Wot?

A healthy sounding name means nothing. Weight Watchers foods may have less calories, but not less sugar. Ditto brands like Back to Nature, Nature Valley, Nutri-Grain, and anything with Skinny in the name.

What About Sugar Itself?

A teaspoon of granulated sugar may make the medicine go down, but it’s got 4-5 grams. That doesn’t seem like a lot, unless you use a teaspoon or two every time you have coffee or tea and you drink a few cups a day. Sorry to disappoint you, but sugar in the raw is just about as bad.

I could go on, but why. If you’re masochistic enough to want more, go to Sugar Shockers at Web MD.

As for me . . .

I’m now going to go munch, loudly and with hostility, on an apple. It too has a lot of sugar (about 15 grams for a small one). But the kind of sugar from fruit is alleged to work differently on the body and is not bad for you (this week), so you don’t have to count it as you do with added sugar. Cold comfort for sugar addicts, but hey, it’s something.

RedAppleRemember the saying,

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Maybe it works. And if it does, you won’t be told not to give up sugar — or anything else. That alone makes it worth a try. Meanwhile, I’m going to try to keep the sugar grams under control. Giving up oatmeal will be the easy part — but the rest? Not so much.

 

Lock up the Mallomars, friends, this ain’t gonna be easy.

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